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Monday, September 26th, 2016

THE DUSTY BAKER UPDATE

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I have this quip that I am pretty sure I made up and it goes like this: The grass is never greener on the other side. But it sure smells different. It’s safe to say that Dusty Baker would be using it if I let him. You have to ask permission, you know.

After 3+ years of Dusty’s tenure, I think it is also safe to say:

  1. He does not like it here in Chicago. He does not like the media. He does not like the fans. It is not the lovey-dovey experience he might have thought he was in for. The media is tough and they don’t worship him. The fans had a taste of success and expected him to bring us the glory of a championship.
  2. If he didn’t stand to lose about 4 million dollars he would leave asap. Or let’s put it like this: next year the Cubs and Team X offer him approximately the same financial package. Team X, meet your new manager.
  3. He is not as good as advertised. His handling of the pitching staff is brutal. I would have to check again, but I believe the Cubs led the league in starts with 120+ pitches. He stays with players too long, like Hawkins. The lineups he put out last year would have been scoffed at by an 8 year old kid with a PS2 baseball game. Running out Patterson and Perez at the top of your lineup for 80+ games was just unbelievable. The 2 biggest out machines in the league, batting at the top?
  4. He really doesn’t like young players. Even when the Cubs were out of it he still ran out Jose Macias to play LF and had Murton on the bench. And just the other day he had weird comments about his handling of young players.

The Sun Times and Trib each had articles about him recently. The Times had this: Baker was asked whether he would need to ponder accepting an extension if one is offered.
“I’ll think about it when it happens,” he said. “I have been in this situation six times in 13 years. This is the first time I ever had a contract over two years, so I’m used to going into this [final] year in this situation. … If the team wins, everything else takes care of itself.”

The Trib had an article that included Baker being asked about playing Murton and Cedeno. “If I don’t [play them] I’ll be accused of not liking young players.” I found it rather odd that he would take a question about his club and make it about himself. He does a lot of that. And this quote certainly isn’t indicative of his “player’s manager” tag: “We weren’t fundamentally good for my teams,” Baker answered. “My teams never had that reputation. The Cubs have been fundamentally bad for a long time. It reared its ugly head.” So none of that was his fault. Because his other teams weren’t like that and because historically the Cubs have been poor at fundamentals. Huh?

I find Baker to be a strange dude and I think that while he may be able to sort out egos and unite players, he’s not exactly the sharpest baseball mind. Too many times to count or cite, he has said things about aspects of the game that had me scratching my head. He also is totally defensive and seems overly concerned about the media and fan reaction.

Baker is 256-229, .528 in his 3 years of leading the Cubs. Would another skipper have compiled a better record? I don’t know. But I do know that Dusty Baker is not what I thought we were getting–a 3-time manager of the year who would take the Cubs to the World Series.

  • <span class="anon-comment-author">Anonymous</span>

    I was extremely disappointed in the defense yesterday–and not just because they gave up some points and lost. At some point that was going to happen. It’s one thing to get beat–but another to look weak and stupid doing so.

    The Steelers simply wanted it more yesterday, as indicated by all the broken tackles and mowed over Bear defenders. They wanna talk about how they’re so damn good, well a defense as good as they think they are doesn’t cave in when they get punched in the mouth, so to speak, which they did on that first drive. I saw hanging heads as early as that screen play to Parker. They just didn’t show up–they were weak. And they got completely outcoached and didn’t adjust–they were stupid out there.

    I haven’t gotten to the papers yet, and what they’ve said about Kyle Unitas, but I will say that Orton looked ready to play and respond to the challenge, which is more than I can say for the D. But he still has accuracy issues, you just can’t miss 3rd down slants when they’re open, like he did to Moose early, when momentum could have still been re-seized, before the game spiraled away and out of control in a snowstorm of revealed weaknesses.

    Disgusted,
    PV

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17608926989592946088 <a href="http://www.blogger.com/profile/17608926989592946088" rel="nofollow">The Zoner</a>

    He played better, to be sure. But he still is very inaccurate and is Vince Evans-like in his short to medium passes–he basically whips them at the receivers. He doesn’t have a lot of touch and his long range passes are pretty sorry. The play to Berrian was nice, but that was due to Berrian, not Orton.

    The Steelers wanted it so much more. So many missed and broken tackles.

    I give you major props–you nailed it last week.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13441809988487585009 <a href="http://www.blogger.com/profile/13441809988487585009" rel="nofollow">The Armchair Quarterback</a>

    The Jazz don’t scare anyone right now. It’s really difficult to watch their offense for us Utah fans. The Jazz have and never will be like the Suns under Jerry Sloan but there have been times when their offense is at least efficient. Kirilenko is struggling but he will never be a scoring machine even if he regains his all-star form. They need another clutch shooter. Okur is scoring for them but somebody else needs to fill up the box scores as well.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13441809988487585009 <a href="http://www.blogger.com/profile/13441809988487585009" rel="nofollow">Brian</a>

    Your are right on the ball in saying that Yao would make the Bulls better.

    What people don’t appreciate about Yao, however, is his exploits off the court.

    Seriously, read about it, he was just inaugurated into the Beer Pong Hall of Fame the other day.

    Read about it at:

    http://brianbeerpong.blogspot.com/

    Adios

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